Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Uganda Airlines finally orders two Airbus A330-800neo planes

This is what Uganda airlines will look like. PHOTO @airbus

THE AIRBUS A330-800neo
  • ➡️ Range 15,094km (7,500 nautical miles )
  • ➡️ Typical seating 257
  • ➡️ Overall length 58.82m
  • ➡️ $250M each (sh940 billion)  
  • ➡️ Latest-generation Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines
  • ➡️ 257 passengers in 3 classes 
  • ➡️ Capacity 406 in a high-density configuration
  • ➡️Airbus' largest customer for the A330 neo series is Malaysian low-cost carrier AirAsia X with 66 on order. 
Uganda Airlines has signed a memorandum of understanding for two A330-800neo planes, Airbus announced today in a press statement. This follows a Firm Order earlier in the day for Four Bombardier CRJ900 Aircraft.

"Congratulations to #UgandaAirlines on your order for 2 latest generation #A330neo. We hope your passengers will love it as much as we do!" Airbus said on twitter.

The agreement was announced at Farnborough airshow in the UK by Ephraim Bagenda, CEO of Uganda Airlines and Eric Schulz, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer.

According to the Airbus statement released Wednesday, the planes will be the new version of the best-selling A330 widebody airliner, featuring new wings new Rolls-Royce’s latest-generation Trent 7000 engines, new systems and a new Airspace cabin interior.

Uganda Airlines plans to use the A330-800neos to build its international long-haul network with the aircraft offering cutting-edge technologies along with most efficient operations. The name "neo" stands for new engine option. 

The aircraft will feature a three-class cabin layout comprising 20 Business, 28 Premium Economy and 213 Economy seats.

“This agreement demonstrates our ambition for economic growth supported by a robust aviation industry. The A330-800neo combines low operating costs, long range flying capability and high levels of comfort. We are looking forward to launch operations and offer our customers best-in-class service”, said Ephraim Bagenda, CEO of Uganda Airlines.

“We are delighted to welcome Uganda Airlines among our A330neo customers, the A330neo will bring a range of benefits offering unrivalled efficiencies combined with the most modern cabin. We look forward to see the A330-800neo flying in the colours of Uganda”, said Eric Schulz, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer.

Bombardier 4 plane deal struck earlier

Earlier in the day, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft also announced that it has signed a firm order for four new CRJ900 regional jets with Uganda Airlines. Based on the list price for the CRJ900 aircraft, the firm order is valued at approximately US$190 million.

“We congratulate the Government of Uganda for the revival of its national flag carrier, and are thrilled that the new airline has selected Bombardier and the CRJ900 regional jets for its upcoming debut,” said Jean-Paul Boutibou, Vice President, Sales, Middle-East and Africa, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft.



“Recognized for its superior economics and efficiency, the CRJ Series aircraft have enabled airlines worldwide to serve communities with better connectivity, and we look forward to supporting the development of Uganda’s regional air travel with these CRJ900 regional jets.”

That brings to six the number of aircraft the airline has ordered today.

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Why the A330-800neo?


 Eric Schulz, Chief Commercial Officer Airbus / Ephraim Bagenda and Chief Executive
Officer of Uganda Airlines . PHOTOS @AIRBUS

The A330-800neo – one of two A330neo versions, along with the A330-900neo – is a more efficient aircraft that will generate savings through its reduced fuel burn.

The jetliner incorporates the latest-generation Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, along with multiple aerodynamic improvements.

With a range of 7,500 nautical miles, the A330-800neo typically will seat 257 passengers in three classes of service, while offering capacity for up to 406 travellers in a high-density configuration.

Estimated cost for each plane is $250 million (sh940 billion).



BACKGROUND

Last year, President Yoweri Museveni promised to revive the Uganda Airlines to tap into tourism and the growing business community..

He  said that once revived, the Uganda Airlines will succeed mainly because of the direct travel opportunities that it will offer its citizens in the diaspora, the business community  and tourists. He said the airline would also benefit from the vast domestic travel opportunities. 
President Museveni welcomes Monsieur Patrice Bouedo last year. 

Museveni made the remarks in June last year while meeting Patrice Y. Bouedo, Vice President ATR Sales in Africa that works closely with Airbus Group.

Airbus Group is a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services while ATR (Aerei da Trasporto Regionale or Avions de transport régional; Regional Air Transport) is a Franco Italian aircraft manufacturer headquartered in Toulouse Blagnac International Airport in Blagnac, France. It was formed in 1981 by Aérospatiale of France (now Airbus Group) and Aeritalia (now Leonardo) of Italy.

Airbus offers the most comprehensive range of passenger airliners from 100 to more than 600 seats. It is a European leader based in Netherlands, providing tanker, combat, transport and mission aircraft.

Uganda is looking to revive the defunct Uganda Airlines with these new planes. Earlier, cabinet passed a resolution to revive the airline to boost the country’s air transport system and boost its trade and development prospects in the region.


The old Uganda Airlines

Indian community a key factor


"I am convinced that Uganda airline will succeed mainly because of six factors: Ugandans in the diaspora, the Indian community, businessmen, tourists, regional traffic and internal travel," Museveni said at the meeting with the Airbus officials last year.

Museveni explained that the Ugandans in the diaspora especially in South Africa, Canada and United State of America, and United Kingdom based Indians who were expelled from Uganda by Idi Amin, are inconvenienced by airlines that must pass through other capitals, but once Uganda Airlines is revived, they will benefit from direct travel.

"Uganda has a captive travelling population. Many people want a flying schedule that suits them and yet most of the airlines look at nationalism and must first pass through their countries of origin," he said.

He said that once the airline is revived, Ugandan tourist sites will be well marketed to the world in a way that no country would compete with Uganda.

"In terms of tourism, no country can compete with Uganda if we have an airline and promote our nice weather, wildlife and the other tourist attractions."

The meeting was attended by Ugandan Ambassador to France Nimisha Madhvani,  the Minister of Works and Transport Azuba Ntege, and other government officials.

Uganda meets the airlines officials last year 

Industrialization will boost airline trade


Museveni also said that Uganda airline will survive once revived because there are many industries developing in the country that will use the airline to export their products.

He said this would increase the number of exports and reduce of imports thus earning Uganda foreign revenue.

Museveni added that regional travel and internal travel would also ensure that the airline survives.

"Although Uganda is not big geographically, the road network is improving, there is a need among Ugandans to spend less time travelling," he said.

He also explained that there are many Ugandans traveling and exporting cargo to Bunya in Democratic Republic of Congo, Juba in South Sudan, Nairobi, Dar es Salaam and Lagos and the airline would make their travel and business faster and more direct.

Patrice Bouedo reassures Museveni

Patrice Bouedo commended President Museveni on the move to ensure that the airline will have internal in country flights.

"What makes the success of an airline market is the feeder market. You need nationals flying within Uganda and not only abroad," he said.

Bouedo also urged government to develop Soroti Aviation School saying that it was greatly linked to the airport industry through training of pilots, engineers and other aviation related jobs.

While addressing his new cabinet at State House, Entebbe in 2016, president Museveni assured that government will focus on the national airline because Ugandan travelers suffer a lot, which he described as a shame.

RELATED VIDEO - 2016



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